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In honor of World Poetry Day, I wanted to let you know about a charming book of poems called Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys .
Read on to see if Guyku is for you!
Guyku is a quick read!
Spring’s arrival has a tendency to disrupt our winter routines of after-school homework and bedtime books. Budlong and Ashman want to get as much fresh air as possible until the sun sets. While they are not at an age to truly appreciate haiku as a poetic form, they can appreciate the digestible length of each of the musings in Guyku. And the sooner they’re done reading, the sooner they can get back outside!
Guyku celebrates playing outside!
Divided into four collections—winter, spring, summer, and fall—this sweet little book of haiku celebrates the simple, unplugged fun kids can have when nature is their playground. Kites, snowballs, baseball cards in bike spokes, and flattened pennies on railroad tracks are just some of the subjects to which Raczka and Reynolds pay tribute.
Guyku connects boys to poetry!
What about that title, you ask? Is it right to imply that only boys will enjoy this type of poetry? Probably not. But if it’s going to help connect a boy to poetry, a genre often considered feminine, I’m okay with it alienating half the population. These are not the crude, sing-songy “beans, beans the magical fruit” kind of poems that are often associated with boys. The haiku range from silly and mischievous to sentimental and contemplative. When we first sat down to sample the pages of Guyku, I didn’t call it poetry because…ahem, (whisper) it doesn’t rhyme. You might want to lead with something like, “Let’s read this boy’s thoughts about playing outside and see if you can relate to them.” Or don’t say anything at all; just leave the book lying around (Jedi Mindtrick #3, my friends).
I also recently discovered the book’s website where you can get teacher resources to help your young readers write their own haiku. There’s even a page about girls who have protested and started a “Galku” movement!
Reading this book will inspire you and your kids to go outside and play. Get to the library and check it out!